My marvellous Kent Claret vine ... I bought it from Victoriana Nursery to keep my ever-faithful calendulas company. Friend Wendy recommends the grapes for grape jelly.

Happy harvesting … my Great Auntie Bee's watercolour of farming life as it used to be, painted in 1950.

The creative mind in action … Coppicing days, Pheasants Coppice, Bishopsbourne.

History …In the garden of Serre de la Madonne, Menton. Seems I wasn’t the only admirer.

Happy birthday! ... My 50th Birthday Party 9th September 2010 at Jenny's, also with Hilda, Becca, Vittorio, Robin and Yvonne and Bianca - Caprese Michelangelo, Toscana. A very special day.

Birthday girl ... Mrs G picking flowers on the morning of her 80th Birthday, a few seconds before she realised that I had arrived.

Please remember that today, 21st June, is the ideal day to harvest your garlic; some may have a different opinion, but not the Garlic Farm or I.

Image on healing gardens co dot uk to illustrate the article.
Added taste ... For goodness sake, add it at the end of cooking!
Image on healing gardens co dot uk to illustrate the article.
Route to good health ... Uprooted and ready to help humans.

You can, at this stage, easily remove the cloves from their skins, as shown in the first photo.

Moreover, all the goodness and flavour is concentrated in the bulbs if you harvest them now.

Hang them up somewhere cool and dry for a couple of weeks; plait them if you have the skill.

Allicin for all

Remember to add garlic at the end of cooking should you wish to gain the maximum health benefit from the allicin, which is released when garlic is cut.

Oh yum!

Our friends at Kew Gardens remind us that garlic was domesticated long ago and is mentioned in ancient Egyptian, Greek, Indian, and Chinese writings.

Garlic bulbs from about 1,500 BC were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, and garlic is mentioned in the Bible and Qur’an.'

Forbidden for some

'Garlic is not popular with everyone. Members of certain religious groups in India, such as Jainism and Brahman Hinduism, are forbidden to eat onion-related plants like garlic.

'The reasons differ in each case. Jains consider use of garlic to be too damaging to the plant, while some Hindus consider garlic too stimulating.

Kew Gardens report that it's one of the oldest plants to be widely used as a medicine. And even more than mere medicine, Kew says, 'In most corners of the world, it is regarded as an aphrodisiac.'

- 21 vi 2016

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